We humans are critical and judgmental by nature. But let's be honest. For most of us, no one gets the brunt of your critique more than... you guessed it... yourself.
In this Bagel Bite, we focus on reframing our perspective in trying new things by providing a simple framework to let go of self-judgment.
Mentioned In this Episode:
Guest Bio: Mike "Bagel" Barugel, passionate about bringing your focus to values. Values are the things that matter to us. The trick is that you define and live yours in your own way. Taking the time to identify and connect with your own set of core values can help you in many ways, big and small, and everything in between. Our values can help us through life's challenges, guide our decision making and remind us why we do the things we do on a daily basis.
Bagel: Hey there. I'm drinking a Timor. Single origin. I think it's roasted on the darker side, medium, dark, I would say maybe a full city, full city plus roast.
And man it's been a while. Welcome back to Bagel Bites. I'm your host Bagel.
Bagel: So today I want to talk about letting go of self judgment. And this is something that I struggle with greatly. All of the time, almost every day. I want to give a little example of an experience I had a long time ago when I was a kid, as a teenager.
So we didn't do a lot of family trips growing up, but we lived in New Jersey and we went up to Connecticut one year in the winter time. And it was with a family friend. I think we just went for a night, maybe a weekend. And we went up to this little hill. Can't even really call it a, a ski mountain or resort. It felt like it was literally like a little cabin with a little bunny hill. And I was going to try snowboarding for the first time. Now I had been skiing before, but it was when I was really young. I think my parents took me when I was like three or four years old, up to Vermont or Maine or something.
And I tried skiing and there's definitely a very cute picture of me back then into my little ski jumping outfit. But anyway, back to when I was a teenager and I was snowboarding. So this was the first time I'd ever tried it. And I remember a few different people that were there. I think there was like either another family or maybe it was just some random person that was at this lodge that was kind of suggesting like, "Hey, this is a lot different than skiing. So just make sure that you give yourself some, patience and learning this. "
And I remember, you know, being like 15 years old or whatever I was being like, all right, I got this. I've been on a skateboard before. Not that I've ridden it well. I think I can get this right. So. I go through the basics, you know, this guy trying to teach me how to stand on the board and how to carve, you know, very basically. And then the motion, and I'm going to totally butcher this because as you'll find out I have not been snowboarding since. You know kind of the heel to toe motion and sort of how to carve going down the hill. So I get to the top and get off the lift and I try to, you know, move forward in the motion that you're supposed to move. And I go flat on my face.
Like right into the snow. And I know lots of people are listening to this that have been snowboarding. You're like, yep. That's exactly what should happen the first time. Right. So then I proceed to go a couple more times. When I say go, I mean literally picking myself up and trying to go straight again and I got nervous. And so then I fall backwards and fall forwards and it's about an hour of this kind of frustrating I can't even stand up on the board sort of thing. And I think at a certain point, I was kind of reflecting back to this experience cause it's kind of shown up in lots of other places in life. You know, I think at some point pretty early on in the process, I started feeling really frustrated with myself and with my inability to pick up this new skill. And I don't know that there was like much comparison to skiing at the time. And I kind of want to maybe separate that part of it too. Where it's like, sometimes we do something that we think is similar and we think the skills are going to transfer over or translate and they don't always do.
And anyone, again, who's been skiing or snowboarding can relate to this. But you know, at a certain point I was just getting frustrated with myself and getting embarrassed. And I was just like, I can't believe I can't do this sort of thing. And I think from that point on, I don't think that there was any way I was going to really accomplish this thing. Because I had convinced myself that I didn't know how to ride a snowboard. And no matter how many times this guy tried to show me how to lean back on my heels and then forward and try to carve down the mountain. No matter what, within five seconds I was falling on my ass, literally.
Bagel: And so sort of the analogy I want to make here is, you know, what if in that moment, in those moments on going down that little bunny hill. What if I was able to just kind of let go of that self judgment and say, you know what, I don't need to get all the way down the hill today. In fact, I don't even need to get more than a few feet.
I just got on a snowboard and I'm learning, right? What if that was the goal? It was just getting on the snowboard and trying it. Instead of feeling like I needed to perfect it, let alone ride this thing down the hill. And it started getting me thinking about, work-wise and the commitments we have in our lives and the pressure that we put on ourselves constantly to do things perfectly, which I'm sure if you've listened to other episodes of Live Your Values, you've kind of sensed that as a theme.
But what if we could just sort of shift our intentions a bit and in the same breath letting go of that self judgment. Giving ourselves space to just be. And learn something and not feel like we have to do it or do it well, or do it perfectly. Kind of want to challenge you or prompt you to think about what areas in your life right now, or in your career or business are you feeling like maybe you're putting a little too much pressure on yourself to do something exactly right. Or maybe there's expectations that you have of yourself.
Bagel: Maybe some of that is external pressure. Maybe from the customer or the client or whoever it is that's gonna either benefit or get something from the result of whatever you're putting out there in terms of the work and the effort. But how much of that is really self-inflicted and what if you could approach something with complete sort of openness and curiosity?
And zero judgment whatsoever. What if you could just take that pressure off? How could that change how you feel and how you interact with the work that you do or whatever the thing that you're engaging with. So I'll just leave you with this. And this is going to be sort of a short Bagel Bite here today, but I just want to leave you with a little framework that I actually learned back when I was career counseling. Shout out to my Seahawks at UNC Wilmington. It's been a little while. I was in charge of putting together a applied learning program basically to help students get internship credit for the internships that they were doing in the community. And we kind of designed this little framework that was based on other applied learning concepts.
Bagel: And that framework is simple. It's three steps. It's intention. Action. Reflection. So, how can you approach something before you do it? It's actually super helpful and very beneficial to actually set that intention. It doesn't have to be a goal, like a quantifiable goal. It could just be "hey, I want to get on the snowboard today. I want to see how it feels. I want to just go to the top and see how far I can get." Like what's your intention and maybe being sort of realistic about what that intention is. And maybe also, why is that important? You know, I know it sounds silly with the snowboard analogy, but like it was kind of important. Like I kinda wanted to learn how to snowboard. I had skied once before. I like sports. I knew other people that did it. To me, it was like, this would be something fun to learn how to do. So that's kind of the why it was a very simple why, but that's why it was important to me. So starting with your intention.
Bagel: Then do the thing, the action, like go ahead and do it. And, again, maybe thinking in the background of just like letting go of that self judgment. You don't have to do it any certain way. Just take the action. And then very importantly after that is, maybe give yourself a break if it's like a physical enduring activity, or even if it's not. Maybe sometimes emotionally draining sometimes the things that we do. Give yourself a little space and then come back and reflect. So intention, action, reflection. And in that reflection just ask yourself, how it went. How did it differ from maybe what you thought? Were you able to let go of that criticism and that self .Judgment? Were you able to enjoy the process? Do you want to do it again?
What could you tweak about it? Is there anyone you know who's doing this similar thing that you could talk to now that you've done it once and share that experience with? So, I hope that maybe that's helpful for you and we'd love to hear your experience. If you try this intention, action, reflection exercise. And this could be again with anything you do in your job, or if you're an entrepreneur in your business it could just be something you do with the people around you, you know? With a family trip, like the example I gave today, whatever it might be. So I hope this is helpful. This is been a bagel bite. And hit me up if you've got some experiences to share around letting go of self judgment.
Bagel: Take care. Talk to you next week.
If you like, what you heard, please hit subscribe in your podcast app so you get notified about all new episodes of the Live Your Values podcast with me, Bagel. Special thanks to Emma Peck for logo design, Danielle Gelber for marketing strategy, and Rebecca Kittel and my team at Free Your Time Virtual Assistants for operation support.
Until next time, get out there and live.